Microsoft’s Xbox One console is getting its own October 2018 update today. The latest system update brings several new features such as the redesigned Xbox Live Avatars, which were initially announced last year. Microsoft designed its new Avatars to be more inclusive, and there’s a built-in Avatar Store where you can purchase new Avatar items. For Windows 10 users, a new Xbox Avatar Editor is also available to download from the Microsoft Store for Avatar tweaks on the go.
The other big new feature launching today is the new Xbox skill for Cortana and Alexa, which is currently available in the US only. After adding the Xbox skill to Alexa, you’ll be able to use Alexa-powered devices to turn your Xbox One on and off, launch games and apps, take screenshots and more.
The Alexa integration is quite a big deal as Amazon has been an early leader in the digital assistant space, and for a limited-time consumers in the US who buy a qualified Xbox One S or Xbox One X bundle at Amazon.com will get a new Amazon Echo Dot along their purchase.
The Xbox One October 2018 Update also introduces Dolby Vision support for video streaming. For those unfamiliar, Dolby Vision is Dolby’s proprietary format for HDR video, and you’ll need a compatible TV set to take advantage of it. As of today, Netflix is the only video streaming app that supports Dolby Vision on the Xbox One, but Microsoft is looking to add more partners in the future.
Lastly, this new Xbox One system update adds five additional languages to Narrator, including Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Swedish, and Dutch. “We’re also adding an Australian version of English language for Narrator, so Australian users will no longer have to select U.S. or U.K. English to use Narrator,” the Xbox team explained today.
For a summary of all the new features, you can watch Major Nelson’s in-depth video below:
The October 2018 Xbox Update begins rolling out today including new Xbox Avatars, Xbox Skill for Cortana and Alexa, Dolby Vision video streaming and new Narrator languages. Check out the blog for more details https://t.co/2n1larElZy pic.twitter.com/TCc5f1hDwb
— Larry Hryb 🏡🎮☁ (@majornelson) October 11, 2018
Now that the Xbox One October 2018 update is rolling out, the Xbox team can presumably focus on the next system update for the Xbox One codenamed "19H1" (just like for Windows 10).
So far, the only new feature that Microsoft announced for the 19H1 update is upcoming support for mouse and keyboard, and this should start rolling out to select Xbox Insiders in the coming weeks.
Microsoft will hold a special XO18 event in Mexico City on November 10, and we should learn more about the 19H1 update as well as Project xCloud at the event.